Although the issue has been with us forever (and isn’t predicted to end until 2058) the equal pay debate seems to be heating up right now. Recently released research shows that the gender wage gap exists across all regions and most industries, and the effects are felt by women of every age and from every background.
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Last month, Pope Francis weighed in on the debate during his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square. He was speaking about divorce rates when he said that the “broken marriage bonds” negatively impact children. He called for an equal commitment from both men and women when it comes to family, marriage, and parenting, and he argued that this equality should also carry over into the workplace.
“The equality enjoyed by the spouses must produce new fruit – equal opportunities in the workplace; a new valuing of motherhood and fatherhood, and a greater appreciation for the openness of families to those most in need,” the Pope said.
He also used the word “scandal” to describe the current state of the gender wage gap:
“As Christians, we must become more demanding…[by] supporting with decision the right to equal retribution for equal work; disparity is a pure scandal.”
According to the National Catholic Reporter, the Pope said that Christianity proposes “radical equality” between husbands and wives, and that Christians around the world “must become more demanding,” when it comes to pushing for equality.
The Pope’s emphasis on equality (and his reference to it as a fundamental Christian value) are exciting steps toward greater worldwide buy-in regarding the gender wage gap, as well as other issues impacting families across the world.
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